By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
The Osun Governorship Election Petition Tribunal set up by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to address complaints over the just concluded August 9 election will on Wednesday, 27th August, 2014, hear a petition filed by the state All Progressives Congress (APC) asking the tribunal to produce and examine all the electoral materials used during the voting exercise.
The state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, candidate of the APC, had been declared winner of the keenly contested election but the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore had vowed to challenge the victory of Aregbesola at the Election Tribunal.
But the APC is seeking for the relief of the tribunal panel to inspect, make copies and conduct manual and forensic examination of all the electoral materials used for the poll.
The APC through its lawyers who included its National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire, Kunle Adegoke, AbdulRahman Okunade and M A Okunade were also seeking the order of the tribunal to allow the exparte motion be conducted outside the pre-hearing session of the matter.
It also prayed the tribunal panel to permit its agents, for purpose of defending the petition, take certified true copies and conduct manual and physical inspection of all electoral materials to wit, Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E, EC40A, EC40B, EC40C, EC40F, EC40G, EC25, EC25B (Electoral Material Receipt), EC1A, EC60, INEC list and codes of the Polling Units, Wards and Local Government Areas in Osun State, Voters’ Registers of all the electorate in Osun State, Form EC17 (oath/affirmation of neutrality), Stubs of ballot papers used, Used and Unused ballot papers, EC25 series, All Forms EC60E, Rejected ballot papers, Tendered ballot papers, actual ballot papers recorded as spoilt, list of the Polling Agents in the conduct of the election, list of all ad-hoc staff engaged by INEC.
The APC is also seeking for the Tribunal panel to produce the true copies of all polling documents and materials used for the conduct of the election in the 24 local government areas of the state.
The party further asked the tribunal to allow its forensic expert(s), for purpose of defending the petition, to take and inspect, by way of machine/electronic scanning, all ballot papers which were used for the conduct of the governorship election in the said local governments areas.
The party also urged the tribunal to permit handwriting and forensic expert(s) to conduct an inspection of Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E and all forms and materials used for the conduct of the governorship election in the state in the aforesaid local government areas and other orders as the tribunal may deem fit to make in the circumstances.
The application is supported by a 20-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Abdulrahman Okunade, a legal practitioner, as well as a written address.
While stressing that the APC was ready to defend any petition as may be filed by any of the parties that lost the said governorship election, the application noted that it is “challenging the results thereof and that APC requires inspection of all electoral documents and materials mentioned in the Motion “in order to effectively defend such petition and object to certain votes cast in a number of the polling units contained in some of the Local Government Areas.”